LISTSERV Command Based: LSU Overview

GROK Overview Banner

General Information

LSU is running a mailing list manager called LISTSERV from L-Soft International. LISTSERV is an e-mail list management software that allows for e-mail newsletters, announcement lists, discussion communities, etc. When you first join an LSU LISTSERV, you will be notified with an e-mail message letting you know that you have been added. The Listowner is the person who manages the membership of the group. You MUST have a myLSU  ID to be a Listowner. The Listowner can add members to their list, as well as people who DO NOT have an e-mail address.

This service is available to Active LSU Faculty, Staff and Student Organizations. Once a request has been submitted, the delivery time is 2-Business Days.

Request a New LISTSERV List

To request a New List to be created on the LSU Listserv system, send the following information to the Service Desk. (

1. A Name for the list. 

The name may not include any spaces or special characters other than hyphens (-) and underscores (_). Examples: ITSLAB-L, LSU-ITINFO, LEGACY.

2. A Brief Description of the list. (40 characters or less)

This description will appear as the "friendly name" for the list similar to how an e-mail from a person will have the person's name pre-pended to his e-mail address in the >From field. 

3. The Listowner Name & E-mail Address.

The listowner will be able to add & delete members and will also receive all of the "failure to deliver" messages. 

4. A Password for the list. (Optional)

Some listowner privileged commands require a password. 

5. Will this LISTSERV list be used as an Announcement-Only List, where only the Listowner can post messages? OR  

 Will this LISTSERV List be used as a Discussion Listwhere ANY member of the list can post messages? 

** If this is to be a Discussion List, do you want the list to be Moderated? This is where each message must first be APPROVED by the Listowner before it is distributed.

6. Do you want Replies to go back to the Listserv Members  OR  

 Do you want Replies to go back to the Sender of the e-mail


Use the LISTSERV Web Portal:

You can manage your LISTSERV using the Web Portal. (See the LISTSERV: Web Portal Overview.)

Use the LISTSERV Commands:

Basic LISTSERV Commands:

View the Overview of LISTSERV Commands.


**Please Note: LISTSERV Commands MUST be sent in a plain text e-mail message without HTML formatting or hyperlinks.
       (To remove the hyperlink, right-click on the e-mail address and select Remove Hyperlink.)


SUBscribe listname realname

Sign-up for a list. If membership is under the control of the listowner, the request will be automatically forwarded to the owner who in turn will do the actual subscribing.

UNSUBscribe listname

Remove yourself from a list.

SIGNOFF listname

Sign off from a list.


Sign off NETWIDE, from ALL lists on ALL servers.

Query listname

Query your subscription options.


Receive some HELP information.


Receive commands information.


Find out what lists exist on LSU. Only lists that are not confidential will be shown in the response.

REView listname

Find out who is on a list. Users who subscribed with the 'conceal' option will not be listed in the response.

     ** NOTEThe upper-case letters in the command indicate the accepted abbreviation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How do I Sign up for the LSU_ITINFO LISTSERV?

Log into the myLSU Portal. Click Computing Services | IT Listserv. Complete the Request Form and click Process My Form. (View detailed instructions.)

2.  How do I subscribe to a listserv?

Send the following command to

SUBSCRIBE listname Your Name

Replace listname with the name of the list to which you would like to subscribe and Your Name with your first and last name.

  • The e-mail should NOT contain any signatures. Any additional text in the body of the e-mail will be interpreted as an invalid LISTSERV command.

  • Content in the body of the e-mail must be formatted in plain text, without HTML formatting or hyperlinks. To remove a hyperlink: Right-click on the hyperlink & select Remove Hyperlink.

3. How do I send a message to a Listserv list?

If you are the owner or a sender for a Listserv list, you can simply address an e-mail to the Listserv's assigned address (,,, etc.).

4. What is the maximum message size / attachment size?

The default setting is to NOT ALLOW attachments to be sent through the LISTSERV. This is due to Computer Viruses which spread easily through e-mail attachments.

5.  Is the LISTSERV Password required?

No. In most cases no password is required, however, you may have a password if that is how your list was initially set up. A password is ONLY Required if you choose to send LISTSERV privileged commands in the body of a mail message addressed to LISTSERV. However, a personal password is required to log into the LISTSERV web portals.

6.  What are Forwarded Errors?

Postings to the list which generate errors will be forwarded to the primary Listowner by default. Examples of when you might get forwarded errors:

  • The computer system to which LISTSERV is trying to deliver a message is down. You will get some kind of notification that this has happened. You do not have to act on this.

  • The recipient account is no longer valid on the computer system (for example, the account has been deleted).

If the account is on a system that uses LISTSERV, PMDF or MX as its software, this rejection notice will be in a form that the LISTSERV will understand. The local LISTSERV will then automatically delete the user account from your list.
If the error notice is not from software that generates a form letter that our LISTSERV understands, you will have to delete the user from your list with the DEL command.

7.  Who controls the characteristics of the List?

All list characteristics are controlled by list header keyword values which you can read when you do a REVIEW command. We have set up your list with the characteristics you chose along with some options that the computer center finds essential to run a secure list.
As a Listowner you have the authority to change some of these keyword values. If your list is not operating the way you would like, we ask that you DO NOT make any changes to the keyword headers yourself but to consult with us on changes you want to implement.

8.  How do I add users to my List?

You can add users to your list with the ADD command or you can ask your users to subscribe themselves with the SUBSCRIBE command.

For security reasons, the LISTSERV lists that we host are set up to be Subscription-by-owner. This means that when a person sends an e-mail to the LISTSERV asking to subscribe to a list, the request is sent to the listowner for approval. As a listowner you will get as many as 3 letters for each subscription request. Or if you have a list of potential members and their e-mail addresses, you can bulk add them at one time. 

9.  View More Frequently Asked Questions.

Troubleshooting & Support

LISTSERV 16.0 List Owner's Manual

LISTSERV Troubleshooting Tips

LSU Support and Policy Statements

Service Desk Contact Information

LSU Policy Statements

2/26/2024 11:44:07 AM